ISLAMABAD     -    Chair­man of ASEAN Committee in Islamabad and Ambassa­dor of Vietnam Nguyen Tien Phong here on Tuesday said that the association had be­come the fifth largest eco­nomic community in the world, a reliable and vital partner of many countries.

Talking to the ambassa­dors of members states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said that the advancement of regional integration, connec­tivity and economic linkage had been a central aspect of the association’s integra­tion process over the past 55 years. He said ASEAN played a central role in the region’s important dialogue, cooper­ation, and integration pro­cesses. ASEAN has enjoyed dialogue partnerships with 11 countries and interna­tional organizations (includ­ing China, the US, Russia, Ja­pan, the ROK, India, and the EU, among others); Sectoral Dialogue Partnerships with six countries, including Pa­kistan, Türkiye, UAE, and development partnerships with four countries, includ­ing Germany, Italy. To date, intra-ASEAN trade accounts for 25% of ASEAN’s total trade turnover.

Its GDP in 2021 was US$3.36 trillion, an increase of 30% since the establish­ment of the ASEAN Commu­nity in 2015.